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Member Since 29 Feb 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 05:02 AM

#59143 Comments on the main page

Posted by OCCubFan on 14 April 2014 - 11:35 AM


Would you guys recommend that those of us who disagree not post here any longer?  Totally honest, its your board/site, not mine, but I really don't feel like those with a different opinion are treated with much respect.  I want to be mature and polite, but being smacked down makes it hard to bite my tongue.

No please post away just don't get upset when your challenged, roll with the punches, and have a sense of humor. The real problem is with the sac bunting questions is there isn't really room for an opinion we have evidence that clearly says it's not a successful strategy. If I say the world is flat and the center of the universe am I to expect nobody will say how wrong I am because I should have my feeling hurt?

NO I'm wrong and the truth should be clearly presented before me and if I refuse to see the truth regardless of how it shakes my world then I should expect to be wrong for a long time.

Please post just don't get upset when you get challenged.


I also do not like sac bunts for all the reasons you and others have given, and I certainly dislike the simplistic (or nonsensical) arguments often made in favor of sac bunts. However, the situation is not nearly so simple as using a matrix of run expectancies or win probabilities for the various situations. In "The Book" by Tom Tango, et al, Chapter 9 (To Sacrifice or Not) goes into excruciating detail about their analysis of various situations. I won't try to reproduce their 50 pages of analysis here. I will, however, quote one paragraph from the chapter summary:


"If you were expecting a nice, tidy set of rules, such as, "It is rarely correct to sacrifice bunt in this day and age," or, "A bunt is only warranted in the late innings of a close game," you are probably disappointed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon your point of view, analyzing the efficacy of the sacrifice bunt in the various situations is so complex and difficult and the results are often so close, that we can offer only a few clear-cut rules of thumb and a myriad of recommendations built on somewhat shaky foundations."

--The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, Tom Tango, et al, p287.


I highly recommend reading Chapter 9 (and others) in The Book to get an idea of the complexities involved in the subject.

#58219 What is your favorite cubs game memory?

Posted by OCCubFan on 19 February 2014 - 09:06 PM

August 18, 1952. My Dad took me to see the Cubs play the Pirates. The Pirates scored single runs in the 2nd, 4th and 6th innings. The Cubs finally scored in the 8th when Hank Sauer hit a sacrifice fly. The Cubs entered the bottom of the 9th down by 2 runs. Bill Serena walked. Johnny Edwards (a catcher) pinch hit and hit a triple into the right field corner. Now the tying run was on 3rd with no outs. Phil Cavaretta, the player-manager, put himself into the game and hit a walk-off HR.


Attendance that day was a whopping 4,911. The victory brought the Cubs up to a .500 record. They had been 15 games over .500 in mid-June.  They finished the year in 5th place at .500--the last time that would happen for a while.


Sauer would win the NL MVP that year. It was Cavaretta's last home run as a Cub. After the 1953 season (65-89), he told the press that the Cubs were unlikely to finish above 5th place in the 1954 season. As a result, owner Phil Wrigley fired him.


I cannot find a reference to this, but I think Cavaretta may be the all-time leader for most hits prior to age 20.

#58100 Cubs Non-Calendar - 2/6 - Prior to the Bigs

Posted by OCCubFan on 06 February 2014 - 03:04 PM

10Ks and 2 HRs is right.


Unfortunately, I chose to go to the bathroom for each of those.

So you went to the bathroom 12 times during the game. You must have drunk a LOT of beer.

#57908 What about an in-town move?

Posted by OCCubFan on 26 January 2014 - 05:35 AM



The cost of constructing a park from the ground up (including the cost of real estate + demolishing Wrigley Field) with no public financing is the biggest hurdle


Fair points, but I think those are doable hurdles.  That's a separate discussion though.  I'm more interested in if any of these would actually work.


In a previous thread I asked why Rosemont wouldn't, and got some good answers.  




Another spot in Chicago fixes little.  You still have the Machine to answer to with whatever alderman and local businesses trying to control your business.  Not to mention the ever present threat of rising "amusement" taxes.  It isn't just the rooftops, bars and Tunney.  The Cubs are the step-child here and the Chicago Machine is simply never going to see Cinderella when they look at the Cubs.  They see a cash cow--someone to bring in revenue and paper over their loses.  The don't see a star.  They don't even see a partner and never have.   


If the Cubs were to move to a different facility in Chicago (where some, if not all of the "impossible money" I referred to in a different post was actually possible), the Chicago Machine would see all of that revenue the Cubs were bringing in and simply raise taxes and fees so the Machine could get its "fair share" to cover its massive loses.


The villages of Arlington Heights, Schaumburg and Rosemont simply don't view business that way (coincidentally, all three are villages with AH being the most populous village in the US).  They each have a long track record of dealing with businesses in pro-business fashion (Woodfield, All-State Arena, The Racetrack).  Chicago is simply too needy for them to keep their hands out of Cinderella's purse.    


Along with your post in the other thread, this is really well stated.

#56448 Bunting For Hits is Smart, not Small, Ball...

Posted by OCCubFan on 26 November 2013 - 11:35 AM

Let's look at some facts and some projections for Rizzo. In 2013, he had 690 PA, 606 AB, .233 BA, .323 OBP, .419 slugging avg,and a BABIP of .258 (vs. .310 in 2012). If Rizzo tried to bunt for a hit 20 times, we expect he would "give up"  about 4.6 hits and 8.4 total bases that he might have gotten had he swung away. (I assume there would be no effect on his walk rate--redo the calculation if you disagree.) Thus, his BA and OBP would remain the same if he was successful at bunting for a hit 23% of the time. His Slugging would be unchanged if he were successful 42% of the time. His OPS would be unchanged if he were successful about 32% of the time.


If, on the other hand, he was successful 40% of the time (less than league average) with 8 hits, then his BA would go up by .006, his OBP would increase by .005, his slugging would go down by .0007, and his OPS would go up by about .004. These are very small changes and unlikely to induce opponents to stop shifting against him.


Now, let's look at the effects of the shift. We do not know what Rizzo's "natural" BABIP is, and won't know for another couple of years. But I would think it would be greater than .258. Assume his "natural" BABIP is .290. Then, his reduced BABIP resulted in the loss of about 15 hits in 2013 (.032 x 458 balls in play). Perhaps this was all luck. But opponents shift because they believe it will reduce his BABIP. If all of the .032 shortfall in BABIP was due to the shift, that is 15 hits a year. Even if these were all singles, recovering those 15 hits would raise Rizzo's BA by .025, his OBP by .022, his SA by .025 and his OPS by .047. That is rather significant. The potential gain is sufficiently large to make it worthwhile for Rizzo to bunt for a hit a lot more than 20 times a year, provided he can maintain a 40% success rate. Eventually, opponents will stop using an extreme overshift and Rizzo's results would benefit from the increased BABIP.

#56369 Bunting For Hits is Smart, not Small, Ball...

Posted by OCCubFan on 24 November 2013 - 08:09 AM

If bunting was so simple and learnable that it would result in it being used regularly. Teams would not ignore something that would be this successful, so perhaps it's not as easy to teach as you believe it is and if let's say 20% of the time MiLB players are learning to bunt would that be 20% less at bats and coaching that they aren't learning how to hit and drive the ball. My thoughts is that bunting is a very specialized skill that only a handful of players are able to do so successfully that it becomes a regular weapon. If bunting is such an exploitable inefficiency then teams would be doing it.

And yes I said MOAR SMALL BALL.

I don't know how hard or easy it is to learn how to bunt effectively, but the skill level need not be exceedingly high if nearly half the infield is open due to an extreme shift, or if the 3rd baseman is playing way back, or if a player has exceptional speed.


I don't think anyone is suggesting that 20% of a player's time or ABs in the minors be devoted to bunting.


That players currently have a success rate greater than 40% tells me this is an exploitable inefficiency.

#46324 Another way to show just how improbable this season is.

Posted by OCCubFan on 25 May 2013 - 09:54 AM

This is excellent work.


In addition, the OPS difference is due for some regression. I did some rough calculations based on assuming BABIP for both the Cubs and their opponents regressed to .300, with everything else the same. My rough calculation indicates that the Cubs' OPS would improve by about .018. However, the Cubs opponents' OPS would improve by .034. Thus, the OPS difference would be reduced by .016. This would bring the Cubs closer to .500. Basically, the Cubs hitters' bad luck is exceeded by Cubs pitchers' good luck (obviously not Jackson).

#35926 Mike Carp?

Posted by OCCubFan on 13 February 2013 - 08:44 AM

I could well be wrong, but I thought that if someone was DFA'd, then the club had 10 days to trade the player, release him or put him on waivers.

#34462 HR leader in the 60s

Posted by OCCubFan on 04 January 2013 - 06:03 PM

Today's trivia question was: which Cub had the most HRs during the 70s? The surprising answer was Billy Williams with 143. That got me to wondering who was the Cubs' leading HR hitter in the 1960s. I'd like to see what everyone guesses. I really don't know the answer and would like to know.

Off the top of my head, if Williams had 143 in the 70's, then he must have had about 300 in the 60s. Santo had most of his HRs in the 60s, so he would have been close to 300 also. Finally, Banks had his best years in the 50s, but he played all of the 60s and hit quite a few. However, I would guess he hit fewer than 300 in the 60s.

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